Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Learning Lags: Many children have learning disabilities. Children with RAD can have them for a large number of reasons: genetic, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, prenatal drug exposure and trauma. Trauma causes the brain to go into the freeze, flight or fright mode. When our brain is functioning in this mode we cannot miss stages of development. We cannot focus on the "regular" job of life when we are focusing on just living or existing through that period of time. Many of us have been through periods of tremendous grief. Think of trying to ready a book during those times. It cannot be done. The state of hypervigilence also causes a child to be focused on everyone else and their surroundings and not anything the task at hand. A child who is left in a crib for hours at a time my not learn to turn over, crawl or walk at the times his mind and body are ready to do this. A child with many moves is going to have the educational problems involved in changing curriculum, teachers, and friends possibly several times in a year. So as you can see, the learning lags can be from a wide variety of sources. Sometimes, with hard work and patience a child can catch up and blossom. If they stay in the state of freeze, flight, or fright it will remain difficult for them. We have a desk sitting in a quiet corner for homework. Teachers will need to become allies. Schoolwork does, however, still need to be the child's job and not moms so you have to be careful not to let it become a power struggle. It is one you cannot win.